African linguistics on the prairie: Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics

Jason Kandybowicz   Travis Major   Harold Torrence   Philip T. Duncan  


African Linguistics on the Prairie features select revised peer-reviewed papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, held at the University of Kansas. The articles in this volume reflect the enormous diversity of African languages, as they focus on languages from all of the major African language phyla.  The articles here also reflect the many different research perspectives that frame the work of linguists in the Association for Contemporary African Linguistics. The diversity of views presented in this volume are thus indicative of the vitality of current African linguistics research. The work presented in this volume represents both descriptive and theoretical methodologies and covers fields ranging from phonetics, phonology, morphology, typology, syntax, and semantics to sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, language acquisition, computational linguistics and beyond.  This broad scope and the quality of the articles contained within holds out the promise of continued advancement in linguistic research on African languages.


  • Linguistic complexity
    A case study from Swahili
    Kyle Jerro
  • Inter-party insults in political discourse in Ghana
    A critical discourse analysis
    Emmanuel Amo Ofori
  • Classification of Guébie within Kru
    Hannah Leigh Sande
  • What about Southern African story grammar? Promoting language specific macrostructures in educational settings
    Heike Tappe
  • How multilingual policies can fail
    Language politics among Ethiopian political parties
    Mehari Zemelak Worku
  • Linguistic imperialism and language decolonisation in Africa through documentation and preservation
    Kofi Agyekum
  • Dictionary Day
    A community-driven approach to dictionary compilation
    Bryan D. Gelles
  • Language endangerment in Southwestern Burkina
    A tale of two Tiefos
    Abbie Hantgan
  • Consonant substitution in child language (Ikwere)
    Roseline I.C. Alerechi
  • A morphosyntactic analysis of adjectives in two Kwa languages: Ga and Dangme
    Regina Oforiwah Caesar, Yvonne A. A. Ollennu
  • Towards a unified theory of morphological productivity in the Bantu languages
    A corpus analysis of nominalization patterns in Swahili
    Nick Kloehn
  • The acoustic vowel space of Anyi in light of the cardinal vowel system and the Dispersion Focalization Theory
    Ettien Koffi
  • Gender Instability in Maay
    Mary Paster
  • Egyptian Arabic broken plurals in DATR
    Lindley Winchester
  • Factive Relative Clauses in Pulaar
    Ibrahim Ba
  • Object Suffixes as Incorporated Pronouns in Seereer
    Nico Baier
  • Searching high and low for focus in Ibibio
    Philip T. Duncan, Travis Major, Mfon Udoinyang
  • More on have and need
    Claire Halpert, Michael Diercks
  • Structural transfer in third language acquisition
    The case of Lingala-French speakers acquiring English
    Philothé Mwamba Kabsele
  • Adjectives in Lubukusu
    Aggrey Wasike
  • Optional ergativity and information structure in Beria
    Andrew Wolfe, Tajeldin Abdalla Adam
  • Two-place exceed comparatives in Luganda
    M. Ryan Bochnak
  • Temporal remoteness and vagueness in past time reference in Luganda
    M. Ryan Bochnak, Peter Klecha
  • Focus Marking in Kuria
    Meredith Landman, Rodrigo Ranero
  • A corpus study of the Swahili demonstrative position
    Mohamed Mwamzandi



Jason Kandybowicz

Jason Kandybowicz is Associate Professor of Linguistics at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.  He is the author of The Grammar of Repetition: Nupe Grammar at the Syntax–Phonology Interface (John Benjamins), co-editor of Africa’s Endangered Languages: Documentary and Theoretical Approaches (Oxford University Press), as well as the author of a number of articles in various linguistics journals.  His research interests include syntactic theory, the syntax–phonology interface, field linguistics and language documentation, and African linguistics (particularly, the languages of West Africa).

Travis Major

Travis Major is a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is interested in syntax, semantics, field linguistics, and language documentation. He conducts research on Lower-Cross languages in Nigeria, as well as Turkic languages.

Harold Torrence

Harold Torrence is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He is the author of The Clause Structure of Wolof: Insights into the Left Periphery (John Benjamins), co-editor of Africa’s Endangered Languages: Documentary and Theoretical Approaches (Oxford University Press), and the author of several descriptive and theoretical articles in various linguistics journals.  His areas of research include syntactic theory, morphology, field linguistics, language documentation, African linguistics (the languages of West Africa, in particular), and Meso-American linguistics.

Philip T. Duncan

Phil Duncan is a Lecturer at the University of Kansas, where he teaches courses on syntax, typology, linguistic anthropology, language revitalization, and general linguistics. His research focuses on syntax and its interfaces with semantics and morphology. His most recent work is on Meꞌphaa, an Otomanguean language from Guerrero, Mexico, and Ibibio, a Niger-Congo language from southeastern Nigeria.


June 14, 2018
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Kandybowicz, Jason, Major, Travis & Torrence, Harold (eds.). 2018. African linguistics on the prairie: Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. (Contemporary African Linguistics 3). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1219141


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